A table tennis robot can be a really useful training aid, especially if you have your own table at home. I actually saved up money from a paper-round and bought myself the best table tennis robot I could afford when I was 15 years old!
But table tennis robots come in a variety of different shapes and sizes (and prices). It can be difficult to know what you need and to decide whether it’s worth paying twice as much money for a better model.
In this post, I’ll be looking at the best table tennis robots currently available. In particular, I’ll focus on the most popular brands and models such as; Butterfly Amicus, Power Pong, Newgy Robo-Pong, and iPong.
This post was originally written in May 2016 but was revised in November 2019 to keep it up-to-date with the latest releases.
The 5 Best Table Tennis Robots
Here are the five best table tennis robots currently available to buy…
- Power Pong 5000 (Butterfly Amicus Prime)
- Power Pong 3001 (Butterfly Amicus Professional)
- Power Pong 2001 (Butterfly Amicus Advance)
- Newgy Robo-Pong 2055
- iPong Trainer Motion
They range massively in price from $2,175 (£1,853.99) for a Butterfly Amicus Prime, all the way down to just $199.95 (£199.99) for an iPong Trainer Motion.
1. Power Pong 5000 (Butterfly Amicus Prime)
- Price: $1,949 or £1,695
Butterfly released their “Amicus” range of table tennis robots back in 2013; Basic, Advance and Professional. In 2018, they made a few updates. They’re now called; Start, Expert and Prime.
These “three-wheel” table tennis robots are manufactured by a factory in Hungary and they’ve really taken table tennis robots to the next level. They allow you to adjust the speed, placement, type of spin and even the amount of spin on each individual ball in the rallies you create!
The Butterfly Amicus Prime is the most sophisticated robot in the series. It’s even controlled via a Bluetooth connection to the Amicus app (iOS or Android). That makes it super easy to customise and control your robot training.
But, at $2,175, it’s also the most expensive table tennis robot on the market.
Here’s the good news…
The Power Pong 5000…
- Comes with a physical control box (the Amicus Prime doesn’t)
- Has a much better app (with a “drag-and-drop” interface)
- AND… it’s $226 cheaper!
So, if you want to buy a Butterfly Amicus Prime, and you aren’t fussed about the Butterfly branding, then buy a Power Pong 5000 and save yourself $226!
Buy a Power Pong 5000…
2. Power Pong 3001 (Butterfly Amicus Professional)
- Price: $1,699 or £1,545
Since we’re talking about Power Pong table tennis robots, how could I not mention the Power Pong 3001?
This is the same robot as the popular Butterfly Amicus Professional, which Butterfly have now stopped selling (it was replaced by the Amicus Prime). And the PP3001 is the improved 2018 version of the popular PP3000.
The Power Pong 3001 is very similar to the Power Pong 5000 (and Butterfly Amicus Prime) just without the Bluetooth connection to the app. So, if you want a top-of-the-range robot but you aren’t interested in connecting it to your smartphone or tablet, the Power Pong 3001 is a great choice.
It’s almost $500 cheaper than the Butterfly Amicus Prime and yet has most of the same features.
That means you get the incredible 3-wheel design. It can produce a variety of different spins within a single pre-programmed drill. And you can create and save up to 99 different drills. It’s just like doing practice drills with a real human partner!
And I love the fact that these robots can create spin serves that actually replicate what you would receive in a game.
Buy a Power Pong 3001…
3. Power Pong 2001 (Butterfly Amicus Advance)
- Price: $1,299 or £1,195
Aside from the 5000 and 3001, Power Pong also have a more basic “three-wheel” table tennis robot. But this is no basic robot!
The Power Pong 2001 is basically the same as the old Butterfly Amicus Advance. It’s much better than the current Amicus Start!
In fact, the Power Pong 2001 shares most of its features with the Power Pong 3001 and 5000. It’s still able to create “complex” training drills, involving a serve or return of serve, followed by a combination of balls all of which can be totally customised.
The Power Pong 2001 provides you with a fully realistic training experience at an affordable price. It can have a maximum of 6 balls per drill, compared to 8 balls per drill for the Power Pong 3001 and 5000 models. However, for many players, 6 balls will be plenty!
There is also less memory space for saving drills with the Power Pong 2001, but you can still store 22 of your favourites.
Buy a Power Pong 2001…
4. Newgy Robo-Pong 2055 Table Tennis Robot
- Price: $999 or £894
Newgy Robo-Pong table tennis robots are very well-known and popular, especially in the United States. They were first released in 1988 and are the original table tennis robot!
The Newgy Robo-Pong 2055 is the best-selling robot sold by Newgy and replaces the previous 2050 model. It’s a really smart robot using digital technology and a ‘PC mode’ to enable you to connect the robot to your computer, create drills, and store them in the system.
A great feature of this robot is the double collection net. The first net is much looser which ‘kills’ the balls and causes them to drop straight down.
Many robot nets are way too tight and what ends up happening is the balls hit the net and then shoot back out onto the table. This makes it difficult to keep your eye on the correct ball and can also end up with less balls being recycled by the machine. Newgy have got the net spot on!
Newgy also have a fancy Bluetooth model that connects to an app on your smartphone/tablet (the Robo-Pong 3050XL) but it has really bad customer reviews. If that’s the kind of thing you’re looking for you should get the Power Pong 5000 instead!
Buy a Newgy Robo-Pong 2055…
But if you’re going to spend a thousand dollars on a table tennis robot you should probably consider spending a little bit more and getting the Power Pong 2001 instead.
5. iPong Trainer Motion Table Tennis Robot
- Price: $199 or £199
iPong specialise in making great value table tennis robots that sit on top of the table. These kinds of robots need to be refilled manually once you have used up all of the balls.
All of the iPong robots are considerably cheaper than anything else you’ll find on the market. They’re ideally suited to infrequent home use, but I guess they could be used at a club or school too.
The new Trainer Motion model actually has quite a few advanced features. Watch the short video below to learn more…
You may have noticed all of the JOOLA branding in the video above. Well, these iPong robots are sometimes rebranded and called JOOLA Buddy table tennis robots. They are exactly the same.
If you’re looking for a basic table tennis robot and don’t have much money to spend then I would highly recommend giving an iPong robot a try. It’s surely the best robot available for under $200!
Buy an iPong Trainer Motion…
I can’t find the iPong Trainer Motion in the UK, yet. But you can buy the iPong V300…
And there are other table-top robots available, such as the Newgy 1040+ and the Y&T V-981 (also sold as the Practice Partner 20 and the Paddle Palace Table Top Pro). But both are considerably more expensive than the iPong Trainer Motion.
Which is the ‘best’ table tennis robot for you?
In this post, I’ve highlighted five great table tennis robots with a range of prices. But which one should you buy?
If money isn’t an option…
The Power Pong 5000 is an awesome piece of kit that is almost like playing against another player! It has so many advanced features and is going to give you the greatest amount of variability in your practice.
The Power Pong 5000 is virtually identical to the Amicus Prime and costs $226 less if you buy direct from PowerPong.org! You’d be mad to pay $226 extra just for the ‘Butterfly’ branding.
If you want something mid-range…
I think the Newgy Robo-Pong 2055 is great value at $999. It’s a really solid robot that can do much of what the Butterfly Amicus Prime can do at less than half the price!
And you can also rest assured knowing that you’re buying the most popular model from the most well-known brand of table tennis robots.
If you’re on a tight budget…
Personally, I really like the newly-released iPong Trainer Motion table tennis robot. At under $200, it’s really great value for money and would make the perfect present for any aspiring player.
With such a large number of technique videos now available on YouTube, it’s possible for players to pretty much self-teach themselves to play using a basic robot like this.
You can’t beat Power Pong!
That’s how I would summarise the entire table tennis robot market in 2019.
Their high-spec, app-controlled Power Pong 5000 robot really is the best table tennis robot money can buy – and it undercuts the Butterfly Amicus Prime by some margin!
If you’re not interested in all of the Bluetooth/app stuff, the Power Pong 3001 is the robot for you. A top quality robot that you can operate using the control panel.
Power Pong’s mid-range robot, the 2001, should be what you buy if you have roughly $1,000 to spend and want a table tennis robot that actually feels like training with a human opponent.